The American Minister and his family have bought the English stately home Canterville Chase, complete with the ghost of Sir Simon de Canterville - blood-stains, clanking chains and all. But these modern Americans will have no truck with ghostly goings-on, and set out to beat the spectre at his own game.
(Summary by David Barnes)
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December 2, 2016 Subject:
The poor ghost...
What is an old-fashioned ghost to do, when the new inhabitants of the house refuse to be frightened? Why, they even use Pinkerton's Champion Stain Remover and Paragon Detergent on the blood stain that has been on the rug for over a century! Rotten Americans...
Humorous tale with a touching ending, wonderfully read by David Barnes.
October 7, 2011 Subject:
A short and huomorous book, highly recommended
A satire of the English ghost story, which I enjoyed very much.
January 23, 2011 Subject:
Wilde used a myriad of comic sources to shape his story. Thomas De Quincey's ‘‘Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts,’’ a satirical essay, is one apparent source. Wilde would also have been aware of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey (1818), a parody of the Gothic novel so popular in the early nineteenth century. Wilde's own experience on the lecture circuit in the United States undoubtedly helped him ridicule stereotypical American behavior. Indeed, one of the major themes in the story is the culture clash between a sixteenth-century English ghost and a late nineteenth-century American family. But the story also examines the disparity between the public self and the private self, a theme to which Wilde would return again in his later writings.
Many thanks to David Barnes for his excellent recording. A great pleasure to listen to!